Monday, March 31, 2008

On the move again...

Tacoma, Washington, here we come! Or more precisely, McChord Air Force Base just outside Tacoma, north of Olympia and south of Seattle, here we come. Ron was finally informed of the whereabouts of his next base, the one we'll be moving to this summer and that Darice and I will be living on, or close to, for the year he's in Korea.

The next few months are going to be busy ones. Not only is Darice trying to finish up some classes at Mississippi State University, but I'm embarking on a very ambitious path for my writing--one that will take enormous chunks of time and even more determination, thought, and dedication to the task-at-hand. Of course, Ron will be working his normal shift, as well as preparing for the move to his new duty station. There's a ton of outprocessing paperwork to be completed when a member of the military moves from one assignment to another. During all of this, we'll be packing our belongings, dividing them up into what we can't live without when we first get there and what we can get along without for however long it takes our furniture and other household items to catch up with us.

Hopefully, we're up to the challenge. The move is tentatively scheduled for some time in July. This is old stuff for Darice and Ron; they've moved to new duty stations several times. But for me, it's a relatively new procedure and I have to admit it's exciting. I'm looking forward to new surroundings, a cooler climate, gorgeous scenery, and an unfamiliar community to explore.

Until the next time...

Friday, March 21, 2008

If you ask me...

The last few days have been blessedly busy. A dear friend from Michigan drove all the way down here to Mississippi to visit me and we had a blast. Karen and I go back a long, long way. We worked together in the same office, married in 1970, became single parents in 1977, and had our children (two for her, three for me) one after another--starting in 1972 and working our way through 1976. To top it all off, our divorces were final during the same month of the same year.

There are other similarities in the twisting and turning paths our lives have taken, but one of the most interesting is that we're both writers. Karen and I even co-authored a newspaper column at one time. It was called "If You Ask Me..." and it appeared on Saturdays; she wrote it one week, I wrote it the next. But our shared column wasn't the only thing we wrote. Every spare minute of our adult lives, I believe, has been spent either jotting something down, observing others (and thinking of ways to incorporate their quirky ways into our latest work), reading, or actually sitting down and composing. We've helped one another with grammar, punctuation, wording, editing, titling--you name it, we've discussed it. We survived failed marriages, worked fulltime while raising little children in single-parent homes, and managed to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors when we were young and poor.

These last few days flew by. We laughed until our sides hurt at the crazy things we did (and thought) as idealistic young, single moms, and marveled at how well we turned out despite the frazzled lives we lived. We spent hours reminiscing, catching up with the events that transpired since we last saw one another. We reconnected in a way that emails and phone calls, as nice as they are, just can't do.

She's off to Gulf Shores now, and after that she'll travel to Tuscaloosa and then on up to Louisville to catch up with other old friends she holds dear. Karen may be a little on the crazy side, but that's exactly why I love her--and why her other friends cherish her friendship, as well. She shows me how to laugh in the face of adversity, how to cry when it's the only thing to do, to laugh when it's the best thing to do, and to be a friend under all circumstances. She brings out the best in me.

Thanks, Karen, for loving me enough to drive all this way for a visit and for reminding me once more what real friendship is all about. If you ask me, you're the best that ever was.

Until the next time...

Monday, March 10, 2008

New directions...

Sometimes I need a new direction, something new at which to take aim. I found that very thing a couple of days ago and I'm very excited about it. For a long time now, I've need a kick in the pants to reignite my passion for not only writing, but for submitting what I've written. For whatever reason, I've lost my confidence and stopped submitting pieces altogether. That's a very unsettling thing to happen to a writer, especially one who feels the days and months and years whizzing by at light speed.

Oh, I've written. Not a day goes by that I don't write something, and on most days, it's quite a bit. But I don't take it any further than that and that's not my purpose in this life. I firmly believe that I am to write for God; that He has called me to this passion and inspires me to do what He asks of me. The problem seems to be that I'm ignoring His direction--if not purposely, at least through pure laziness. I have the time, I have the equipment, I have the ability. What I don't have is an excuse for not submitting my work for publication on a timely and regular basis. As of right now, that's changing.

Until the next time...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ties that bind...

If home is where the heart is, then my heart is scattered in chunks across the nation. Some of it lies in Michigan, another chunk is in Kentucky, yet another in Florida. Still more pieces reside in Indiana and Georgia. My friends and loved ones aren't located in one handy place where I can keep tabs on them in person. No, the passage of time and circumstances beyond our control have sent us in different directions--geographically, at least. Emotionally, we are bound together with a long "bungee cord" of love that stretches as far as it needs to in order to keep us tethered. Whenever one of us needs a helping hand or emotional support or just feels the need to spend time in someone's company, a gentle tug on the cord is all it takes to bring us back together.

There's no place on this earth--or in the heavenly world beyond--where that cord can't reach. On earth, it keeps us bound; to the eternal kingdom above, it keeps us connected. There will come a time when I'll shimmy up that cord straight to Heaven and then watch my loved ones from above while they tug and pull and keep themselves bound not only to one another, but also to me, other loved ones in paradise, and to our Heavenly Father.

Until the next time...